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National Electrical Code Articles and Information

National Electrical Code Summary: Article 80 -- Administration and Enforcement

Based on the 2020 NEC

by Mark Lamendola

To be able to work effectively with the NEC, you must understand the philosophy behind it. This is the information NEC Article 80 provides. NEC Article 80 is new to the Code, beginning with the 2002 revision. Formerly, the NEC started with Article 90. It still does, actually, because Article 80 exists as Annex H. At some point, Articles 80 and 90 will probably be recast as Chapter 1 articles. Logically, that is where they belong.

80.1 addresses the scope of the NEC, listing the five functions. In a nutshell, they are:

80.2 gives definitions related to administration and enforcement. Do not confuse this with the definitions in Article 100.

80.3, 80.5, and 80.7 are pretty much for the lawyers.

80.9 addresses how the Code applies to:

80.11 basically bars new construction from occupancy if there is a Code violation and grandfathers existing structures under certain conditions (mostly that there is no hazard to life or property).

80.13 defines who has authority to administer the code and what that authority entails. With 16 major points, 80.13 covers a lot of ground. It codifies what was previously "understood."

80.15 lays out the bylaws for an electrical board, which may be established by any municipality.

80.17 requires the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to retain records.

80.19 addresses permits and approvals, quite extensively.

80.23 provides rules for notices of violations and penalties.

80.25 provides rules for connecting to the electrical supply.

80.27 describes the qualifications for being an electrical inspector.

80.29, 80.31, 80.33, and 80.35 are for the lawyers.

How the NEC is arranged

  1. The first four Chapters of the NEC apply to all installations.
  2. Article 90 precedes Chapter One, and establishes the authority of the NEC.
  3. Article 80 follows the body of the NEC; it exists as Annex H. It provides the requirements for administration.
  4. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 are the "special" chapters, covering special: occupancies, equipment, and conditions (in that order).
  5. Chapter 8 provides the requirements for communications systems.
  6. Chapter 9 provides tables.
  7. The appendices provide mostly reference information.
  8. Appendix D contains examples that every NEC user should study.

Try your NEC moxy:

  • Do you know the difference between bonding and grounding? Hint: Look in the NEC, Article 100.
  • Does the NEC refer to grounding incorrectly in any of its articles? Yes! So be careful to apply the Article 100 definitions. Don't ground where you should bond.
  • When doing motor load calculations, which Article covers hermetic motors? Answer: While Article 440 covers the application of hermetic motors, it does so only by amending Article 430 because hermetic motors are a special case of motors. For motor load calculations, refer to Article 430.
  • Does the NEC provide a voltage drop requirement? Yes! It does so in a special case, which is Article 648 Sensitive Electronic Equipment. But for general applications, it does not provide a requirement; it merely provides a recommendation in a couple of FPNs.
  • Take our Code Quizzes.

Remember other applicable codes, rules, standards, and references:

  • OSHA's electrical worker safety rules.
  • IEEE standards.
  • NETA standards.
  • NFPA standards.
  • International Codes (if applicable to the installation).
  • State Codes (if the state has them).
  • Local ordinances and permit requirements.
  • Local fire codes.
  • Manufacturer requirements or guidelines.
  • Customer security requirements.
  • Industry standards.
  • Your company's own internal standards, practices, and procedures.
  • Engineering drawing notes.


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